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Island People in stand-off with police and army
Joint army and police were forced to intervene when Island People Mas band made a determined effort to break the Port-of-Spain Carnival parade route yesterday. The stand-off took place between 11.45 am and 12.30 pm at the corner of Park and Richmond streets. Band members were trying to proceed further along Park Street but the designated route requires bands to turn onto Richmond street.
Eventually the army arrived and after discussions between a bandleader and a senior member of the police force, the band proceeded down Richmond Street without further complaints.
A National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) route manager, who did not want to be named, said the band could have been fined if they had continued down Park Street. He was not sure how much the fine could be. However, a Island People Mas bandleader, who also did not want to be named, said the band had stalled on Park Street because they wanted to get some shade before moving on. Asked further if the band had stalled because they wanted to break the parade route, the bandleader said, “We are not about breaking the rules.”
Earlier, bands like Legacy, Harts and Ronnie and Caro all paraded down Richmond street without attempting to adjust the route in any way. In a telephone interview, Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee said rules are the rules and they should not be broken. “Those are the rules to be observed, you see a one-way street because the authorities made it a one-way street, you don’t have the right to go in the opposite direction, there is a reason why there is a one-way. I feel that if the band (Island People Mas) violated that instruction, there should be consequences,” he said.